In the market for a smart, sweet and active companion animal? If so, then the Blue Toyger might just be the cat you’ve been searching for. Toygers of all colors are a unique and intelligent breed. From their distinctive body markings, facial structure, and genuinely awesome personality. This is a breed that enjoys being social, so don’t fill the bill when it comes to the stereotype of the aloof and independent cat. As such, it might be a good idea to get your Blue Toyger a buddy so they can pass the time when you and/or your family are not around, or busy. After all, it’s only fair when you have such a sociable, quirky, active and loyal furry friend. We’ve included some interesting facts about this one-of-a-kind breed to help you get a handle on just why people find these felines so fascinating.
Toyger? What is a Toyger?
If you’ve never heard about Toygers, you’re not alone. In fact, there are many cat fanciers who’ve loved cats their entire lives, who have never heard of them. One reason could be that they are a recent breed, having only been around since the 80’s when Judy Sugden decided to create the breed. What prompted Judy Sugden to create this unusual and beautiful cat? It was the tiger. That’s right. Judy found tigers to be one of the most gorgeous animals in the world. So, she decided to try to create a miniature tiger of sorts. She put her mind to it and in the end, we have the Toyger. An average sized cat that has the striped markings of a tiger. Though some have spread a rumor that the Toyger is part tiger, such is not the case. These are domestic cats bred to resemble tigers, nothing more. A great example of the Toyger, and how they resemble tigers is QG Champion EEYAA Showman. As you can see from the photo, Toygers were even bred to have a facial appearance of the tiger, so it’s not just about stripes.One can easily see the tiger resemblance, right down to the shape of the eyes and facial features. Judy Sugden was masterful in her creation of this breed, right down to the whiskers. In 1993 the International Cat Association decided to view the Toyger as a genuine breed fit for registration. These vertically striped wonders of the cat world have since generated an army of their very own fans. Today, breeders continue in the footsteps of Judy Sugden and work to ensure that the Toyger’s appearance becomes more and more ‘tiger-like’ as the years go by.
Meet Judy Sugden
As previously stated, Judy Sugden is the individual who decided to craft this gorgeous breed from scratch. However, she must have had a good deal of help, for you see, she is the daughter of Jean Mill. For those of you familiar with the magnificent Bengal cat, know that it was Jean Mill who developed that breed! One day, Judy noticed that her Bengal cat, Millwood Sharp Shooter had an odd marking on his head, one that resembled a tiger’s marking. Well, that’s all it took to inspire Judy to begin to create the Toyger. The first two cats she partnered were Millwood Rumpled Spotskin and Scrapmetal. Scrapmetal was a domestic shorthair with tabby markings, and Millwood was a large Bengal. Later on, Judy spotted an interesting street cat in Kashmir, India named Jammie Blu. She became intrigued with his markings, so purchased him and had him shipped to the states. According to allaboutcats.com, a total of around 40 cats were selected and used to form the basis of all Toygers seen today.
What is a Blue Toyger Cat?
A Blue Toyger cat is simply a standard Toyger cat which has a blue coat color. This color can come across as a bluish-gray, or a faded black color. All coat colors seen in cats are the result of genetic dilutions and modifiers. Depending on the genes of a cat, or any animal, it’s the involvement of these dilutions and modifiers which influence their coats pigmentation. As such, dilution is the process responsible for the blue color in Toygers, and all blue cats. With Blue Toygers, dilution affects the black pigment. This is recessive, not dominant and is the result of a mutation which occurs in the Melanophilin Gene or MLPG. Dilution turns the black hair shaft to bluish-gray, by creating a disproportionate coloration along the shaft, which turns the black to a soft, blue. In other words, MLPH is a gene that ensures the pigment will be evenly spread along the hair shaft. If diluted, the color spread is no longer even and turns the shaft a faded black, blue-gray. Other cat breeds which are known to have blue fur are:
- Russian Blue
- British Shorthair
- Oriental Shorthair
- American and Domestic Shorthair
Blue Toyger Care and Maintenance
The Toyger is a relatively new breed. As such, there really isn’t enough information available to gage whether or not they have any inherited health issues. Some suggest that the Toyger may be predisposed to heart murmurs, but there still isn’t enough cumulative data to suggest an exact correlation. So, it’s a good idea to keep an eye out for any untoward symptoms and behaviors, and be ready to take them to the vet if you come across anything. As far as diet and nutrition goes, the Blue Toyger doesn’t seem to need any special nutrients. In other words, any well balanced cat food on the market will do nicely. However, they do like to nibble, so try to keep them away from the dinner table, or you could risk having a plump to obese kitty in the near future. The Blue Toyger doesn’t require much in the way of personal maintenance. In order to keep their coat healthy and lustrous, all that’s needed is to find a soft bristle brush, and gently brush with the fur and never against it. Remember to use a soft bristle brush and to brush lightly. By doing so, you won’t risk the bristles scraping the tender skin of your cat as you brush. Next, examine the teeth and ears. It’s important to keep their ears from from mites, as mites will cause your Blue Toyger to suffer. You’ll know if your cat has ear mites due to the thick, dark brownish black residue which begins to accumulate. If your cat does have ear mites, take them to the vet for an examination in order to get the proper diagnosis. Just like humans, diet and exercise go hand in hand with Blue Toygers. In general, all Toygers are active by nature. They love playing alone with their favorites toys, as well as playing with other kitties as well as people. These are smart cats, plain and simple, and enjoy interacting with their environment. It may help to speak with your breeder or other owners of this highly intuitive cat in order to find the most perfect toy for your friendly feline. Another form of exercise is to train your Blue Toyger. Toyger’s are known to be highly trainable, and truly enjoy the interaction they have with people during the training process. To help you get started, Hills Pet has some good suggestions. Some owners even have had great success with leash training. After all, the world is a dangerous place for cats, so if they are to be outside, then a leash or outdoor cat run is the solution. Never let your Blue Toyger roam freely outside.
Where to Buy Blue Toygers
Toygers are quickly becoming a breed favorite. If you’ve a mind to have one of your very own, then you’ll be looking for a reputable breeder, or rescue organization. TICA has a list of Toyger breeders. However, it’s still up to you to check out each breeder, as TICA isn’t responsible for the actions of Toyger breeders. As a result, it’s important to know what to look for in a cat breeder. There are also a few breeders who worked closely with Judy Sugden, such as Urban Exotic Cats if you’re looking to get a bloodline with direct ties to the latest created by Judy Sugden.
How to Find a Reputable and Trustworthy Blue Toyger Breeder
First things first, and that involves knowing the difference between a cat with tabby markings and a Toyger. After all, there are cats with tabby markings which are rather deep and distinct. Let’s just say you don’t want to get taken advantage of by unscrupulous breeders, that just breed animals for quick cash, much like puppy mill breeders. Once you’re familiar with the breed, it’s time to look for a reputable Toyger breeder. For instance, all reputable cat breeders will be registered with an accepted professional cat organization. If not, then they’re nothing more than a backyard breeder or kitten mill breeder. Once a Toyger breeder belongs to an organization, they’ve agreed to stick to the code of ethics put forth by one of these organizations. Examples of professional cat associations are the Cat Fanciers Association or The International Cat Association. Another sign of a good breeder is that they’ll have no problem having you over for a visit if you request it. If they don’t feel good about you visiting their Toyger cattery, that’s an immediate red flag. They may also inquire about your household to see if you’re fit to own a cat, as well as accept questions from you. Finally, they check kittens for illnesses, and guarantee their health. Below are some sample questions you can ask your prospective Toyger breeder:
- Can you see a veterinarians bill of health for both parents?
- Have or will the kittens receive proper socialization to other cats, pets and people?
- What type of food do the parents and kittens eat?
- Will you get veterinary certification that the kitten is healthy?
- Will your kittens shots and de-worming be included in the cost?
- Ask to examine the breeders contract before the sale
- Does the breeder have references from previous sales?
When it comes down to the cost of a Blue Toyger, know that it can run anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000 or more, depending on the kittens pedigree. This means that cats with a show quality bloodline will definitely cost more than a cat considered pet quality.
Toyger Rescue Groups
There are many benefits in taking in a rescue Toyger. These are cats whose life journey took a misstep or two, and they found themselves homeless, with the lucky ones ending up in shelter and rescue organizations. One of the most notable pluses in adopting a Toyger rather than going to a breeder is cost. Depending on the shelter, Toyger adoption fees can run from $50.00 to $200.00. These fees are necessary, as they afford the cat shelters to purchase food and other supplies for the many cats to come. Without your generous assistance, many shelters would not be able to carry on helping cats. As Toygers are a very recent breed, there aren’t many available, so the rescue organizations are few and far between. However, if you visit this Toyger Rescue page, they will have locations where you can locate a Toyger in need of a home. According to the toyger.rescueshelter.com page, they’ve helped to re-home 145 Toygers. However, as Toyger rescues are difficult to find, it may be a good idea to contact nearby Toyger breeders and inquire if hey are aware of any Toygers that need to be adopted, and leave your name on their list.
Thank you for taking time to learn more about the gorgeous Toyger breed. This designer cat breed is just now finding its footing in the world of cat fanciers, with more and more people learning about them every day. Intelligent, inquisitive and playful, this breed is sure to snuggle its way into you heart. Social, with the ability to get along well with cats, other pets and people, it can only be a short time before they become as well known as the Siamese or Persian cats. The blue color in Blue Toygers is simply a color. In other words, underneath all the bluish fur, they are still, first and foremost a Toyger.